Politicians and activists in northern Sri Lanka told the Indian parliamentary delegation that the obsession with the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution will hardly help the Tamils.
While members of the Indian delegation were rather reluctant to speak to the local media, enquiries with political parties, academics and civil society members who met the delegation revealed that the discussions gave the Indian parliamentarians an opportunity to listen to different perspectives, agendas and concerns in Colombo and in Jaffna.
In Colombo, the Indian parliamentarians met senior members of the government, including Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa.
On the interactions, Cabinet Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said: “It is always useful to have delegations come over, for they can assess the situation objectively.
In Jaffna, where the MPs spent nearly two days, the emphasis was on the need for transitional administration and for India to shed its “obsession with” the 13th Amendment -- which followed the Indo-Lanka accord of 1987 -- as it was “inadequate”.
The Indian MPs also met members of the main opposition party, United National Party, including its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had recently visited India.